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Atos offers enterprises digital route to net-zero emissions

French IT services provider unveils portfolio of digital products, services, platforms and support to assist enterprises with curbing their greenhouse emissions

Atos is ramping up the support it can offer to enterprises that want to decarbonise their operations and curb their greenhouse gas emissions to assist in the global fight against climate change.

The French IT services company is bringing to market a portfolio of tools and services to help enterprises calculate and reduce their carbon emissions, and carry out “Digital Decarbonisation Assessments” to pinpoint areas within their operations that are ripe for improvement.

Its clients will also be able to tap into the capabilities of The Atos Digital Decarbonisation Platform, which is designed to automate the collection, calculation and reporting of emissions data across their organisations so they can make data-driven improvements to their operations.

During a press conference to discuss the announcement, Nourdine Bihmane, head of decarbonisation at Atos, said creating a platform of their own would be a time-consuming and effort-filled process for enterprises to do for themselves, which is why Atos is doing it on its client’s behalf.

“Giving our clients a clear vision of their carbon footprint and proposing a carbon reduction strategy are some of the biggest ways we can help them change,” he said.

“But it’s a complex picture, filled with data from hundreds of services. In the past it would have taken organisations considerable time and investment to even begin to understand all that data.”

The company will also provide enterprises with access to digital twin-type technology so they can use modelling techniques to figure out how to tweak their operations to reduce their carbon emissions, as well as low-carbon datacentres in which to host their workloads.

Positive impact

Jason Warren, vice-president of Atos’s net zero transformation portfolio, spoke during the press conference about the positive impact shifting workloads to the cloud can have on the amount of emissions a company produces.

“While it’s estimated that digital and ICT consumes about 4% of the carbon emissions worldwide, digital technologies can help reduce global carbon emissions by between 15 and 30% through solutions in energy manufacturing, agriculture buildings and transportation, just to name a few,” he said.

“Classic technologies that we’re already working with - such as hybrid cloud computing [and] moving workloads to low emission datacentres or first generation industrial automation using scripting, mobile networks for connected solutions internet of things [IoT] solutions [can all make a difference], but then we move on to emerging technologies as well.

“Leveraging new services such as smarter IoT solutions that are integrated with artificial intelligence, and the new digital platforms [already discussed].”

However, technology can only achieve so much when it comes to curbing emissions and helping firms realise their sustainability goals, he continued. “Building these solutions is not the full story for emission reduction progress, and the innovation that we need. You need to wrap it with the right policies, frameworks, commitments and complement those with the right climate knowledge.”

To this point, Atos will also offer enterprises hands-on support with achieving their sustainability goals via one of the nine “Net Zero Transformation Centres of Excellence” Atos is planning to open across the world, one of which will be in London.

“The Centre will allow customers to leverage Atos’s global skills, resources and network of more than 200 experts to create their own path towards becoming a net-zero, resilient business,” the company said in a statement.

Recruitment drive

The organisation is also planning to embark on a recruitment drive in due course to grow the team that will staff these centres to include 500 individuals by the end of 2022.

This package of measures and support that Atos is bringing to market are in support of its “Net Zero” sustainability agenda, as the firm strives to ensure its operations result in no incremental increase  in the amount of greenhouse gases it releases into the atmosphere.

 In February 2021, Atos went public with an update on how efforts to decarbonise its own business were progressing, with the company confirming that it was shortening its self-imposed deadline to reach net-zero emissions by eight years to 2028.

This means the company has until 2025 to cut its global carbon emissions by 50%, but it has also committed to offsetting all its residual emissions by 2028.

The company claims the level of its commitment to the decarbonisation of its operations and that of its customers is a source of competitive difference within the wider IT services market, and is being underpinned by its acquisition of climate strategy consultancy EcoAct in October 2020.

Read more about Atos and its sustainability initiatives

However, the company is intent on doing more to “motivate and urge” its end-client and its partners to “set and meet” their own ambitious net-zero emissions targets as well, said Bihmane.

This includes delivering on its “market-changing vision” for “supporting clients on their net-zero journey,” he said, with the IT market’s first “end-to-end portfolio” of decarbonisation-focused services, platforms and offerings.

“[This] will enable our clients to reach net-zero with even more urgency than ever before,” he added.

Elsewhere during the presentation, Atos CEO Elie Girard said the package of measures it is bringing to market are a show of its commitment towards helping its clients, employees and the general public “live, work and develop sustainably” as it sets about delivering on its goal of becoming the leading provider of “secure and decarbonised” digital services.

“Digital technology is an enabler for businesses to reduce carbon emissions. Digital services alone could directly enable from 15 to 30% reduction in emissions needed by 2030,” said Girard.

“We want to ensure all our clients and partners adopt digital technology that significantly reduces their carbon emissions, so they can reach net zero as fast as possible,” he said. “Digital decarbonisation improves efficiency, reduces cost and drives innovation to achieve success. We believe climate action makes also perfect commercial sense.”

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